When one Jew sins, all Jews pay the price
If you are a Jew like me you will relate to this – whenever I see another Jew sin and fall from grace, especially very publicly, I feel deep personal shame. I just can’t help it – that’s how I was raised, that is to view all Jews as my own family members. So, when Bernie Madoff, a secular Jewish “financier”, defrauded many individuals [many Jews themselves] and even charities out of billions, he defrauded all Jews, even those who have never even heard of him. When Sholom Rubashkin, an ultra-Orthodox Jew and the former CEO of Agriprocessors, a now-bankrupt slaughterhouse and meat packing plant, was convicted of financial fraud, by his dishonest dealings he brought disrepute to devout and law abiding Hasidic Jews who had nothing to do with his sins and my own head hung low as well.
In Leviticus Rabbah 4:6 we read the following story that illustrates this point very well:
Some people were sitting in a ship, when one of them took a drill and began to bore a hole under his seat.
The other passengers protested to him, “What are you doing?”
He said to them, “What has this to do with you? Am I not boring the hole under my own seat?”
They retorted, “But the water will come in and drown us all.”
[Such is the fate of all the Jews; one sins and all suffer.]